Homecare: An Introduction and Definition

Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to introduce you to Homecare, the black sheep work horse of the medical industry which helps, but very rarely gets the accolades it deserves.  With an aging parent or grandparent, it can be overwhelming to navigate the different services available to help your family member.  As many options are open to the public through government and private systems, Homecare is a service that keeps seniors living independently in their homes and increases their quality of life. However, if you’re like many people, you may not understand what homecare is, how it differs from home health care, and what questions should you ask when choosing a homecare provider for your family member.

I constantly see family members who are lost in the trail of their aging parent. Its tough to see it and great to help! But that is on a case by case basis.  My aim here is to offer information about the industry and show families a way for them to navigate the treacherous waters homecare and the healthcare system.  So we should start simple, lets just define the industry.

What is home care?

Homecare and home health care are two completely different services. Home health care involves medical care that is provided by medical professionals who come to your home.  They may take blood pressure, give you your medications, or perform physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech therapy in the home.  They are strictly medical and do not provide help with your daily activities.

Homecare, on the other hand, focuses on improving quality of life for seniors. Essentially, homecare providers are the extra set of hands you need to keep you in your home, because you what they say is true…Home is where the heart is! Homecare services vary from just a few hours a week to 24/7 care if needed. It allows you to stay in your home, remain independent, and provides families peace of mind knowing their loved ones are taken care of, provided the attention they deserve and a enhanced quality of life.

How old is this Industry??

In its essence, homecare has been around for centuries!  Lets look at that.  The underlying concept of companionship to the elderly is what families have done for their parents since we started to record history, the bible or any other form of publication.  Because lets be honest, homecare is caring for a parent and families usually cared for parents.  But life since then has become more complicated.  We work, travel have families and all other types of outlying situations that caring for a parent becomes more difficult.  We have made this web called life and we must continue to enhance it in order for it to work.

So, fast forward to 1974 (earliest i can see some business providing care).  The industry is somewhat starting and it will start to take shape into what is considered a 250 billion dollar (yes, that right!!) industry by 2030.  The care of seniors and the generations which follow has grown so much till today that the whole system has mushroomed into a non navigable mess which the every day family member becomes overwhelmed by. 

What Homecare can Provide:

  • Companionship: Sometimes, it can get lonely for seniors, especially when their families can’t always be there. Home care gives you companionship to prevent loneliness and maintain social connections.
  • Light Housekeeping or Home Management: Over time, routine tasks such as taking care of your kitchen, making your bed, doing your laundry can become difficult. A home care provider can help with these chores so you can stay in your home.
  • Meal Preparation: A proper diet is essential to maintaining good health as you age. And it becomes more challenging to cook, engage in food prep, and eat nutritious meals. Having a home care provider can help you maintain the level of cooking and eating well that you had before.
  • Errands and shopping: As you age, you may find it more difficult to get out of your home and do your errands. Perhaps you’re no longer driving, or don’t feel comfortable behind the wheel. This can result in missed doctors’ appointments, missed bill payments, no groceries in your home, and can quickly spiral into your life getting out of control. A home care professional will help you with these errands so you can get out of the house and enjoy being outside, and stay active.
  • Personal care. A home care provider also helps you maintain your personal care. This means maintaining oral hygiene, bathing, dressing, and filing your nails—basically all aspects of your daily hygiene.

The above points are just a few of the needs that homecare can provide.  Be sure to speak to your provider and ask questions regarding your services and what the company may provide.  Thank you for your attention and I look forward to the next